Naya Taylor’s request was straightforward: she wanted hormone replacement therapy as part of her transition. But her doctor, Aja Lystila, first claimed that she didn’t know how to administer such treatment; and then the clinic just flat-out refused treatment. Lystila wouldn’t even perform blood work as preparation for a hormone replacement regimen.
But they can’t do that. One of the conditions of Obamacare is that any health care provider who receives federal funding isn’t allowed to discriminate based on sex.
According to Taylor, the clinic regularly provides hormone treatment to cisgender patients. And the way that the clinic turned her down is the worst part of all: “we don’t have to treat people like you,” they said, citing religious beliefs. Ugh. Even if they weren’t required by law to provide Taylor with equal access to health care, this is just a rotten, loathsome thing to say.
Get ready for a backlash from uninformed conservative commentators who say that Taylor doesn’t really need HRT, and that hormones are just an elective cosmetic choice. That’s bullshit, of course. For one thing, it’s a decision that only a patient and a proper physician can make; and for another, treatment for gender dysphoria is a real, necessary, lifesaving thing. And Taylor didn’t just seek treatment on a whim — she did it after long consideration, as part of a larger transition plan, and after consultation with a social worker and a physician specialist.
At worst, Dr. Lystila should have said that she didn’t feel qualified to offer the treatment, and provided a referral to a physician who could. In fact, the Clarke Group clinic has doctors specializing in endocrinology on staff!
Lambda Legal is leading the charge on Taylor’s behalf. They’re asking for a declaration that the clinic can no longer discriminate, as well as compensatory damages and attorney’s fees. Go get ’em!